Summer was well under way when our friends contacted us about their desire to visit a brewery in the metro area. They’d made it through the first few months of raising a newborn and finally felt like they earned a night off. Before we knew it we were halfway through our yum yum rice bowls from World Street Kitchen discussing our next stop: LynLake Brewery.
The first thing you can’t help but notice about LynLake Brewery is its gorgeous facade. Located in the historic Lyndale Theatre, complete with the original marquee, it provides a introduction like few other taprooms can provide. Upon entering you’ll see they take full advantage of the building. With two stories of open space before you you can’t help but gaze up at their black ceiling with gold adornment. Owners Mark and Paul really flexed their construction background in renovating this 100yr old building.
The next thing you’ll notice is their bar. Located smack in the heart of the taproom it is dotted above by numerous bicycle rims at various levels. This highlights the integration of craft beer into another Minnesota subculture. If you’re looking for more insight into this curious symbiotic relationship with bicyclists it’s the topic of the August issue of The Growler.
After the initial look at the taproom we made our way through the dogs that their owners had gathered for the Pit Bull Rescue Event that was occurring during our visit. Having a beautiful June night we figured the rooftop would be the best bet. Unfortunately, there were a lot of others with the same thought. We retreated and grabbed a high top table behind the bar flanking stack after stack of kegs and the brewery’s production area. A quick note about the rooftop: they’ve got gorgeous views of downtown Minneapolis and their own bar. If you’re interested in grabbing a seat to enjoy some balmy summer breezes I’d recommend coming early or aiming for some cool fall evenings since this area has been packed every time I’ve visited.
I was into my second beer before I noticed their cool copper flight boards which means I was only able to try three beers during my visit. The first was Sideburns, an Oatmeal Raisin Milk Stout served on nitro. A thick foamy head with a mocha brown, notes of raisin, and a delicious creamy sweetness made for an excellent first pint. The two others were Rubbish an Oat Amber Ale, and Mosaic Table a Mosaic Hopped Session Ale. Session ales are hit or miss, and Mosaic Table was mostly a miss. The Rubbish however was excellent. It was served on cask at room temperature, had a great malt backbone, notes of roasted oats, and a Scotch Ale aroma. This isn’t your normal Amber Ale, but it’s a tasty one!
I asked the girls at the table to give me four words to describe the taproom. After more deliberation between the two than I thought was possible I got the following: eclectic, rustic, vintage, theatre. I’d have to say it’s a pretty apt description of LynLake Brewery. While I didn’t get to try a lot of their beers, I’ve visited before and really never been let down. If you haven’t visited I highly recommend a trip. It’s in Minneapolis but you only need to get your toes wet since you don’t have to drive downtown. Try to grab a spot on the rooftop since there is nothing like watching the sunset with the Minneapolis skyline on the horizon.